|Activity Goal||To use the latitude part of the global grid system to find places on the world map.|
|Materials Needed:||A pencil and a Cram World map.|
|A global grid system is used to locate places on a map. To
understand the global grid system, some basic facts about the Earth must
|The Earth is a sphere, or a round ball (not perfectly round, but
that only matters to scientists). The Earth spins, or rotates, on an
imaginary axis. This imaginary axis passes through the center of the
Earth. It emerges from the Earth's surface at 2 points, the North
Pole and the South Pole.
|These 2 poles are also 2 of the cardinal (major) directions,
north and south. North is towards the North Pole. South is
towards the South Pole.
|The direction in which the Earth rotates (or turns) defines the
other 2 cardinal directions, east and west. The Earth
rotates from the west to the east. East is to your right side as you
face the North Pole. West is to your left side as you face the North
|The Equator is an imaginary line that completely circles the
Earth. It is part of the global grid system. It is halfway between the
North Pole and the South Pole. The Equator runs east and west.
|Other imaginary lines also run to the east and west. These lines are
called parallels of latitude. The lines can be called just
parallels or just latitudes. These lines are called parallels because
they run parallel to the Equator. The Equator and other parallels of
latitude are one half of the global grid system.
|Each parallel is numbered to show how far it is north or south from
the Equator. This numbering system is measured in degrees. The symbol
for degrees is . There are 90 degrees between the Equator and
|Moving north from the Equator, parallels of latitude are numbered
from zero degrees (0) at the Equator to 90 degrees north (90 N) at the
North Pole. For example, 20 N refers to the parallel that is 20 degrees
north of the Equator.
|Moving south from the Equator, parallels of latitude are numbered
from zero degrees (0) at the Equator to 90 degrees south (90 S) at the
South Pole. For example, 40 S refers to the parallel that is 40 degrees
south of the Equator. Remember, latitude measures the distance north and
south from the Equator.
|??? Use a world map to help you find the answer to the following
|Trace the Equator (0 latitude) from the east (right side) to the
west (left side) of the world map. List the oceans and continents that
the Equator runs through. Write your answers in order (one ocean will be
|??? Locate the cities listed below on the world map. Then identify
the parallel of latitude that is closest to the city. Write the answer
in the space provided.
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